From Fred Itua, Abuja
Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), David Babachir Lawal and Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, yesterday, told Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs that the list of 47 ambassadorial nominees forwarded to them last month by President Muhammadu Buhari cannot be amended.
The duo said those on the list, nominated under the prerogative of the President, do not need to cut across the 36 states of the Federation as is the case with ministerial nominees.
The two top government officials made the submission when they briefed the committee. They summoned to explain alleged lopsidedness in the list which excluded nominees from Ondo, Bayelsa, Ebonyi and Plateau states. Specifically, the SGF, in his explanation, declared that the list was based on certain criteria and not the other way round and that, even at that, 32 out of the 36 states in the federation were captured, which to him, showed substantial compliance with the federal character principles.
He said part of the criteria used in the selection of the nominees apart from their respective records of service, is change compatibility value of the nominee in line with the change agenda of the present administration.
He, however, along with the minister, assured the committee that the four states omitted in the list, would be compensated in the non-career list that would soon be forwarded to the Senate by the President.
Efforts by committee members to grill the SGF and the minister further were, however, not allowed by the chairman, Monsurat Sunmonu, who ordered a closed-door session for further discussion. The Sun